Texas Plant Conservation Conference 2018

(<< back to Texas Plant Conservation Program)

Post-Conference Summary

BRIT hosted the 2018 biennial meeting of the Texas Plant Conservation Conference (TPCC) from September 19-21, 2018. The goal of this year’s conference was to foster communication among conservation organizations, agencies, academics, educators, and the public. Sessions focused on increased participation and discussion, with opportunities for conservation practitioners to network with fellow conservationists. The conference brought together over 70 conservationists from around the state. Participants represented 31 organizations including non-profits, universities, and governmental agencies. Forty-nine presentations were given discussing work being done around Texas to further conservation of native plants. Attendees also participated in workshops and strategic planning working groups. The conference recognized Dr. Karen H. Clary, former Director of Plant Conservation for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, with the TPCC Lifetime Achievement Award for her long career in plant conservation.


The Botanical Research Institute of Texas and Fort Worth Botanic Garden are pleased to invite you to attend the 2018 biennial meeting of the Texas Plant Conservation Conference (TPCC) in Fort Worth, Texas. This year we will focus on COLLABORATIONS. The daunting task of protecting the native flora of Texas can only be achieved if we work together. The goal of this year’s conference is to foster communication among conservation organizations, agencies, academics, educators, and the public. Sessions will focus on increased participation and discussion, with ample opportunities to network with fellow conservationists. Bring your ideas, insights, and expertise as we tackle some of the greatest challenges facing plant conservation today.

Schedule Overview

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Regular Session
8:00 am                 Registration
8:30                       Welcome
9:00                       Keynote address by Jennifer Ceska, Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance
10:00                     Break
10:30                     Innovator talks
12:00 pm              Lunch
1:00                       Workshops
3:00                       Break
3:30                       Lightning talks

Poster Reception
5:00-8:00 pm          Poster session and awards dinner

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Regular Session
8:00 am                 Registration
8:30                       Innovator talks
10:00                     Break
10:30                     Innovator talks
11:00                     Tours
12:00 pm              Lunch
1:00                       Lightning talks
1:45                       Working Groups
3:00                       Break
3:30                       Working Groups
5:00                       Closing remarks

Friday, September 21, 2018

8 am-5 pm           IUCN Red List Assessment Training

View full program & abstracts here.

Wednesday Evening Poster Reception

Unable to attend the whole conference but want an opportunity to network and share ideas? Join us on Wednesday, September 19th from 5 to 8 pm for the Poster Reception and Dinner. Share a poster on your latest project or just browse and mingle. Educators and students of all grade levels are invited to share their class projects to gain experience, feedback, and a resume boost. There is still time to submit abstracts for poster presentations. To register for just the poster reception, select the “Poster Reception Only” option on the registration page. Contact Kim Taylor ( if you would like to submit a poster abstract.

IUCN Red List Assessment Training 

Friday, 21 September 2018

This special session will be held Friday, 21 September 2018 from 8 am to 5 pm. Become an official Red List Assessor for your specialty region or taxonomic group! George E. Schatz of the Missouri Botanical Garden/IUCN Species Survival Commission will provide training, and participating botanists will evaluate several plant species for Red List submission. As botanists and conservationists, we can participate in an important global biodiversity initiative and contribute to international conservation goals by conducting Red List assessments of the species that we know best. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is important because it allows us to evaluate the risk of extinction for any given species, providing open-source data that can be used for research, funding, and conservation prioritization. The workshop will be a full day. Prior to the workshop, participants will be required to complete online training in Red List assessment methodology, and come prepared with data on their species, including occurrences, population size, and threats. The morning session will include a review of terms, categories, criteria, concepts, and some examples. In the afternoon session, participants will assess species on their own or in small groups with assistance from the workshop leader. By the end of the workshop, each participant should have a Red List assessment ready to submit to IUCN. 

Web Sites: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species ( Online IUCN Red List Training Course (

List of Presentations

Opening & Keynote

  • Welcome & Vision for Plant Conservation in Texas—BRIT Leadership
  • Keynote Address: Networking for Conservation – Getting Projects Going, Plants in the Ground—
  • Jennifer Ceska, Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance

Oral Presentations (alphabetical)

  • A Rush to Collaborate or the Slender Rushpea Coalition—John Reilley, Chris Best, Shelly D. Maher
  • Comparison of Plants in 15 Texas River Bottomlands and its Implication for Ecological Restoration—Allan D. Nelson, Turner Cotton, and Randall Rosiere
  • Connecting Through Education: Practical Strategies for Creating Effective Community Outreach for Plant Conservation—Pat Harrison, Tracy Friday
  • Conservation Genetics of the Threatened Mononeuria minima (Geocarpon, Earth Fruit, Tiny Tim) Using Microsatellite Markers—Christine Edwards, Matthew Albrecht, George Yatskievych
  • GGI-Gardens From the Ground Up: Building a Network of Botanical Gardens and Biorepositories to Preserve Plant Biodiversity From Living Collections—Morgan Gostel
  • Leveraging Molecules and Museums to Identify Multidimensional Conservation Priorities in Texas—Daniel Spalink
  • Long Term Monitoring Results for Texas Wild-Rice (Zizania texana) Using Three Monitoring Regimes—Casey Williams
  • Making Headway in Fort Worth:  Managing Public Land for its Natural Value—Robert Denkhaus
  • Milkweeds & Monarchs: Mapping Native Texas Milkweeds Using Citizen Science Data—Darrel Murray
  • Native Neighborhoods: Helping Pollinators Across Fort Worth—Michelle Villafranca
  • Saving Native Trees in the Urban Environment: Part I—Gareth Harrier
  • Synergistic Effects of Habitat Fragmentation and Climate Change on Conservation of an Endangered Orchid—Hsiao-Hsuan Wang, Frederico Mestre, Carissa Wonkka, Michael Treglia, William E. Grant, Fred Smeins, William E. Rogers
  • The Southeastern Grasslands Initiative: Charting a New Course for Conservation in the 21st Century—Dwayne Estes
  • TPWD’s TEAM Tool: Crowdsourcing Citizen Science and Ecosystem Analysis—Amie Treuer-Kuehn

Lightning Talks (alphabetical)

  • A Two-Year Update on Texas Herbaria: Discovering and Preserving Texas’ Botanical Heritage: Good for Science, Good for Conservation—Barney Lipscomb
  • Art for Conservation: Botanical Art to Educate and Inspire—Barney Lipscomb, Layla Luna
  • Conservation Collection Maintenance Strategies: A Case Study at Mercer Botanic Gardens—Anita Tiller, Suzzanne Chapman
  • Conservation Status of Rare Texas Plants—David Bezanson
  • Creating a Novel Population of the Tobusch Fishhook Cactus: How, When, and Where?—Bonnie Amos
  • Effects of Single-Season, High-Stocking Rate, Short-Duration Grazing on Texas Wintergrass (Nassella leucotricha)—Katherine Hood, Darrel B. Murray, James P. Muir, Caitlyn E. Cooper
  • Landscaping with Native Plants on Federal Properties—Heather Bass, Keri Barfield, Amy Belaire, Heather Venhaus
  • Love it to Death: Big Red Sage, Salvia pentstemonoides—Heather Bass
  • Myxomycetes on American Elms Surviving Dutch Elm Disease in Texas—Vanessa M. Marshall, Harold W. Keller
  • Patterns of Soil Preference and Regional Genetic Diversity of the Texas Endemic Plant, Dalea reverchonii (Fabaceae)—Seth Hamby, Russel Pfau, Darrel Murray, Allan Nelson, Jeffrey Brady
  • Rescue of an Orphaned Herbarium Collection: NLU—Tiana F. Rehman, Jason H. Best, Peter W. Fritsch, Alyssa B. Young, Miranda Madrid, & Ashley Bordelon
  • Research Avenues in the Conservation of Styrax platanifolius, Including the Endangered Texas Snowbell—Peter W. Fritsch
  • Saving Native Trees in the Urban Environment: Part II—Gareth Harrier
  • Status of the Federally Petitioned Schoenoplectiella hallii (Cyperaceae) in Texas—Kim Taylor
  • Studying Natural History Collections to Understand the Ferns and Lycophytes of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex—Lani DuFresne, Alejandra Vasco
  • Sustainable Ranching: A Beef Rancher’s Perspective on Native Flora—Alyssa Austin
  • The Comparison Between Two Surveys for Correll’s False Dragonhead (Physostegia correllii) in Travis County—Casey Williams
  • The Genetic Time Machine: Investigating the Response to Climate Change and Land Management Via a 50-Year-Old Herbarium Collection from Guadalupe Mountains National Park—Matthew G. Johnson
  • The Lichen-forming Fungi of Mason County, Texas—Taylor Sultan Quedenlsey
  • The Sampling Problem in Rare Plant Population Studies—Chris Best, Norma Fowler
  • When Size Matters: Studies of the Flowering Phenology of the Federally Threatened Tobusch Fishhook Cactus (Sclerocactus brevihamatus subsp. tobuschii), a Texas Endemic—Karen Clary, Hans Landel, Sean Watson, Ryan Mecredy

Poster Presentations (alphabetical)

  • A Preliminary Report on the Seed Dispersal of Sclerocactus brevihamatus ssp. tobuschii: An Endemic Cactus—M’Kayla G. Motley, Bonnie B. Amos
  • Extinction Threats to White Rosinweed—Alyssa Hutchinson, Calista Lothliam, Bruce Benz
  • GIS Analysis of Rare Plant Species of Texas—Emily Inglis, Tamie Morgan
  • Global Strategy for Plant Conservation 2020: Progress Report for Texas, U.S.A.—Kim Taylor, Barney Lipscomb, Edward Schneider
  • Memory Rose: A New Rare Species for Texas?—Isabella Wu, Kim Taylor
  • The Role of the USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program in Ecosystem Restoration—Brandon Carr
  • The Status of the Shinner’s Sunflower (Helianthus occidentalis ssp. plantagineus) in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana—Amber Miller
  • Vegetation Survey of Local Urban Area Begins Long-term Documentation of Land Use Impacts on Area Biodiversity—Kelly Carroll, Dan Caudle
  • When Size Matters: Studies of the Flowering Phenology of the Federally Threatened Tobusch Fishhook Cactus (Sclerocacus brevihamatus subsp. tobuschii), a Texas Endemic—Karen Clary, Hans Landel, Sean Watson, Ryan Mecredy


Workshops will occur during the Day 1 Regular Session (Wednesday, Sept. 19). These two-hour workshops will be focused on enhancing skills important for conservation. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend one of the workshops below.

1. The Armchair Botanist: Engaging the Online Community to Improve our Knowledge of the Texas Flora

Instructors: Jason Best (BRIT), Tiana Rehman (BRIT)

While more than 3 million botanical specimens exist in Texas herbaria, only a small fraction of these are digitally accessible for observation or inclusion in scientific studies. Producing images of these specimens is often the first step in liberating these data; the second step is engaging our citizen science community to help us extract the label information from these images. We’ll explore the different citizen science projects and platforms that are helping herbaria in Texas compile specimen data then we’ll dive in to the transcription process. We’ll model how you might lead your own transcription blitz, liberating your own specimens or those from any other herbarium. Bring your computer and join us as we extract data from historical Texas specimens and do some virtual botanizing!

2. Seven Stages for Banking Seeds of Native Texas Flora

Instructors: Minnette Marr (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center), Anita Tiller (Mercer Botanic Gardens), Suzzanne Chapman (Mercer Botanic Gardens)

The Millennium Seedbank Project Standards and Center for Plant Conservation Ex Situ Plant Conservation Protocols offer guidance for long-term conservation of seeds. Workshop participants will learn how Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Mercer Botanic Gardens address each of the seven stages of seed conservation. Following hands-on activities with wildflower seeds, we will compare protocols for collecting species of greatest conservation need to protocols for collecting ecotypes of workhorse species. Then we will review techniques for processing the accessions with the help of volunteers, preparing seeds for storage, monitoring viability of seeds, managing the data, and distributing seeds for restoration and research projects. The workshop will end with a discussion of assessing and mitigating risks associated with natural disasters. Handouts will include the MSBP Standards, the Seeds of Success Field Data Form, the Texas Natural Diversity Database Reporting Form, and the Uniform Biological Transfer Agreement. Participants are encouraged to bring a small pocket knife with scissors, a pint container with a tight lid and a smart phone or tablet.

3. Developing conservation banks for orchid mycorrhizae and seeds in Texas: concept and methods

Instructor: Dr. Jyotsna Sharma, Texas Tech University (TTU)

Orchids represent 10% of all angiosperm flora on the planet and are some of the most threatened plant species. Their unique biology and ecology demands equally unique and creative conservation measures. To safeguard the >50 species that occur in Texas, a partnership of Texas Tech University, BRIT, and NAOCC intends to establish mycorrhizal and seed banks to contribute to global and local biodiversity conservation. Workshop participants will be trained in sampling orchid root tissues and seeds by following protocols that ensure non-destructive, ethical, and timely collection. Instructions for sending materials to scientists at TTU and BRIT will be given, and other relevant topics will be discussed to help volunteers contribute to this mission.

4. Grass Identification

Instructors: Dr. Brooke Best (BRIT), Dan Caudle (BRIT)

Feeling “glumey” due to poor grass ID skills? Then join BRIT staff for a refresher course on grass anatomy and grass identification tips and tricks. Grasses are dominant species in many Texas ecoregions, and accurately identifying them is important to vegetation assessments and community analyses. How can we conserve Texas plants if we can’t properly describe and define the communities in which they are found? Workshop will include hands-on dissections and microscope work.

5. Herbarium and/or Library Access

The BRIT herbarium and library will be open for use by appointment only during the two-hour workshop time. If you would like to access either the library or herbarium during this period in place of a workshop please select this option. Space is very limited. To ensure your spot please email Kim Taylor at, indicate which facility you would like to access and your reason for access.

Working Groups

Working Groups will occur during the Day 2 Regular Session (Thursday, Sept. 20). Working groups will focus on addressing conservation issues within the indicated topic, with an emphasis on addressing targets within the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

1. Documenting Plant Diversity

This group will address Objective 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Objective I: Plant diversity is well understood, documented and recognized

  • Target 1: An online flora of all known plants.
  • Target 2: An assessment of the conservation status of all known plant species, as far as possible, to guide conservation action.
  • Target 3: Information, research and associated outputs, and methods necessary to implement the Strategy developed and shared.

2. Ex Situ Conservation

This group will address targets 4, 5, 6 and 10 within Objective 2 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Objective II: Plant diversity is urgently and effectively conserved

  • Target 4: At least 15 per cent of each ecological region or vegetation type secured through effective management and/or restoration.
  • Target 5: At least 75 per cent of the most important areas for plant diversity of each ecological region protected with effective management in place for conserving plants and their genetic diversity.
  • Target 6: At least 75 per cent of production lands in each sector managed sustainably, consistent with the conservation of plant diversity.
  • Target 7: At least 75 per cent of known threatened plant species conserved in situ.
  • Target 10: Effective management plans in place to prevent new biological invasions and to manage important areas for plant diversity that are invaded.

3. In Situ Conservation

This group will address targets 7 and 8 within Objective 2 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Objective II: Plant diversity is urgently and effectively conserved

  • Target 8: At least 75 per cent of threatened plant species in ex situ collections, preferably in the country of origin, and at least 20 per cent available for recovery and restoration programs.

4. Sustainable Use of Wild Flora

This group will address target 9 within Objective 2 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, as well as targets 11-13 within Objective 3.

Objective II: Plant diversity is urgently and effectively conserved

  • Target 9: 70 per cent of the genetic diversity of crops including their wild relatives and other socio-economically valuable plant species conserved, while respecting, preserving and maintaining associated indigenous and local knowledge.

Objective III: Plant diversity is used in a sustainable and equitable manner

  • Target 11: No species of wild flora endangered by international trade.
  • Target 12: All wild harvested plant-based products sourced sustainably.
  • Target 13: Indigenous and local knowledge innovations and practices associated with plant resources, maintained or increased, as appropriate, to support customary use, sustainable livelihoods, local food security and health care.

5. Conservation Outreach and Capacity Building

This group will address Objectives 4 and 5 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Objective IV: Education and awareness about plant diversity, its role in sustainable livelihoods and importance to all life on earth is promoted

  • Target 14: The importance of plant diversity and the need for its conservation incorporated into communication, education and public awareness programs.

Objective V: The capacities and public engagement necessary to implement the Strategy have been developed

  • Target 15: The number of trained people working with appropriate facilities sufficient according to national needs, to achieve the targets of this Strategy.
  • Target 16: Institutions, networks and partnerships for plant conservation established or strengthened at national, regional and international levels to achieve the targets of this Strategy.

Questions? Contact us at

Past conferences:

  • 2020 – Fort Worth/Virtual
  • 2016 – Fort Worth (cohosted by Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center)


Past conferences

  • 2020 – Fort Worth/Virtual
  • 2016 – Fort Worth (cohosted by Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center)

Research Team